Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.

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7 Reasons Umbrellas are a Year-Round Promotional Product Favorite


When you’re searching for a corporate gift with functional, stylish staying power, consider an umbrella – 45% of consumers own one – and with good reason. Umbrellas are useful year-round, can be given to recipients of any age and gender, and have dozens of options when you’re looking for the best match to represent your brand, occasion, or event.

Here are 7 reasons why a custom promotional umbrella should top your list of go-to employee gifts or giveaways.

1.Umbrellas are useful and convenientStromberg heathered strap

Personalized umbrellas show off your business name or logo as part of a thoughtful, functional gift with maximum versatility. Whether you’re trying to stay dry during New Orleans’ rainy season or seeking a little spot of shade in sunny Phoenix, an umbrella is useful anywhere in the country.

We like to stay in tune with how the weather is going to impact our day. With the convenience of an app just a tap away, we check the forecast an average of three times per day. Stay dry with a fashion umbrella that makes a statement or choose an umbrella which offers an app that will tell recipients whether or not it will rain!

2.Custom umbrellas are unique

Umbrellas are a unique promotional product that get a lot of mileage and are warmly received by just about everyone, from your youngest hires to your most veteran employees. There’s also so much diversity among umbrella styles and functions that even somebody who already has a couple of umbrellas can always use one more. Everyone uses umbrellas, so you really can’t go wrong when choosing this as your promo gift.

3.Promotional umbrellas are long-lasting

Inverted Umbrella with C Shape Handle

Our Inverted Umbrella with c-shaped handle makes for easy carrying.

Umbrellas have excellent staying power, with an average life cycle of 14 months. Among Baby Boomers, it’s even longer – 59% keep promotional umbrellas for two years or more. And hey, if one gets left behind somewhere, someone else will come right along and adopt it.

Go for special features that make your umbrella stand out, such as a built-in flashlight, a C-shaped handle for hands-free capability, or a chair clip.

Fifty-eight percent of consumers report umbrella quality is the primary reason for hanging onto it.

4.Umbrellas show off your logo and branding

Customizable umbrellas are a big, blank canvas making it a perfect walking advertisement for your business. There’s ample room to show off your logo and messaging, and there’s an infinite number of possibilities when it’s time to select colors that match or complement your brand (even if your logo is an umbrella).

5.A lot of marketing coverage

Would you pay someone to walk around all day with a billboard for your business? When you use umbrellas as promotional gifts, you don’t have to. With so much use, it should come as no surprise that custom umbrellas generate an average of 1,100 impressions over their lifetime. When you need an effective promotional item, an umbrella is an ideal pick.

6.Personalized umbrellas are great gifts and giveaways

There are plenty of cool, fun, and interesting promotional items to give away, but it can be tricky to find a universal crowd-pleaser. People are happy to receive something as functional as an umbrella, especially when it’s stylish or comes with cool features. Because they’re so practical, they rarely get tossed in the bottom of a drawer and forgotten.

7.Promotional umbrellas come in different styles for any occasion

Our Telescopic Classic Umbrella

Our Telescopic Umbrella is a classic and comes in 18 different colors.

While it’s true any old umbrella can keep you at least somewhat dry, they aren’t created equal. When you’re searching for the best umbrella to represent your brand, there are lots of choices.

Opt for a classic umbrella that prioritizes utility,function and affordability, especially if you’re serving employees all over the country. If you’re creating gifts for a specific demographic, take a look at golf umbrellas or patio table umbrellas. If you’re looking for a gift that’s on trend this year, go for an inversion umbrella , which not only looks awesome but is cleverly designed to keep people dry as they get in and out of the car.

Umbrellas are an ideal year-round promotional product that keeps your name top of mind every time it’s overhead. Thinking about spreading sunny smiles with a custom promotional umbrella? Start here.

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Must-Have Promotional Apparel: Sport-Tek Tri-Blend Shirts


They’re walking billboards, sleek promotional giveaways and one of the simplest ways to stand out in a crowd. Today’s branded pullovers and polo shirts are the ultimate go-to – not only do they ensure your brand gets noticed, but they continue to deliver valuable impressions long after distribution.

Think about it – 65% of consumers own a promotional polo, and Gen Xers own about three branded polos, on average. Over their lifetime, it’s not surprising a single shirt can deliver 2,300 impressions. Considering the competitive rates and printing costs, that’s less than half a cent per impression.Sport-Tek Apparel are Must-Haves For March

Tri-Blend Material Provides the Best of Each Material

That said, not all polos are created equally – and, right now, we’re all in on these amazing Sport-Tek® Tri-Blend Shirts. The ultimate “want-to-wear,” Sport-Tek shirts have an on-trend vintage finish, subtle texture and comfortable cotton/polyester stretch. With added rayon for a soft feel and great drape – these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill polos. Use them as a trade show uniform, customer giveaway or anything in between and you’ll see people pulling them on, long after their “must wear” period.

Sport-Tek Apparel is Great for Events

These pullovers have endless uses beyond just staff branding and trade shows. If your staff, customers or extended audience like sleek, on-trend shirts, the Sport-Tek Tri-Blend polos are a slam dunk. We’ve seen tons of applications from fan wear to concerts to resorts, hotels, restaurants and popular events such as Comic Con – and, every time, they look perfect, with a cool-meets-casual look that syncs with virtually any event or experience.

If it’s not clear – we’re a fan – and we can’t wait to see our customers’ latest and greatest applications in the next few months. It’s hard to find a promotional premium – especially apparel – that’s this versatile and this popular.

Share your branded polo ideas with us or get in touch to start designing your promotional shirts now.

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Cool Giveaways to Throw in a Sponsored Swag Bag


People love free stuff, which is why gifting a swag bag at your next event is a genius way to not only get noticed, but instantly get on potential customers’ good sides from the beginning. A swag bag, in case you’re not familiar, is a goodie bag full of items like branded goods and samples. They’re usually handed out to folks at events, corporate parties, and other sponsored gatherings. They are a great way to thank guests for attending and making sure they remember your brand.

In short, it’s hard not to love a swag bag. But if you’re going to do one, do it right. After all, your brand or logo will be all over the items inside it—each item is a mini representation of your company. As such, you don’t want to just throw whatever cheap items into it. Your swag bag should be obviously connected to your brand, while being thoughtful and useful.

Sponsored swag bags are also a smart way to stand out in a crowd, especially when trying to win over the crowd at a conference or trade show when throngs of brands are all vying for customers’ attentions. Rather than throwing a few free typical items like pens or water bottles across your booth, switch it up with the conference equivalent of a party favor. Below, we offer 10 of our favorite items to stash inside a swag bag.

Cool Tradeshow Giveaway Ideas

Giveaway #1: Reusable Water Bottles

26 oz Triple Insulated Water Bottle

 

Limiting single-use plastic in favor of more sustainable options is a growing movement around the country, especially for millennials. A sustainable, reusable water bottle is a great way to exhibit your corporate responsibility to the environment in a very trending way.

 

Giveaway #2: Wireless Charging Pads

Looking to excite a tech-friendly crowd? Consider throwing a wireless charging pad into the swag bag. They’re small and lightweight, making them easily fit inside a bag of (nearly) any size. And frankly, they’re neat and unique—a nice upgrade from the standard cord charger. They’re also versatile, working well in the office or at home.

Giveaway #3: Tote or Drawstring Bags

When putting together a swag bag, all your attention will likely go into what you ought to put in the bag but don’t forget—you actually need a bag. Rather than using a bag that will end up in the trash, why not opt for a branded reusable bag (hello, sustainability)? Reusable bags are a favorite promotional giveaway, as they have a strong lasting power. Fill one up with goodies? Even better.

Giveaway #4: Pens

The promotional pen may get an eye roll for being an old standby but they’re actually incredibly useful. With nearly all our communication these days being digital, folks rarely think to carry a pen with them, despite it being an office/desk staple. Simply put, having a pen in your swag bag will come in useful for attendees.

Giveaway #5: PopSockets

You might have seen this useful accessory attached to phones recently. Although trendy, PopSockets help improve grip on expensive mobile phones. Tradeshow attendees (and their kids) will appreciate an affordable yet practical piece of mobile tech applicable in daily life. Plus, when the PopSocket becomes attached, it creates a walking billboard of your brand or logo for whoever can’t put down their phone.

Giveaway #6: Lunch & Cooler Bags 

Multi-day conferences and tradeshows can get expensive for attendees (especially if not work-sponsored). Multiple bottles of water, snacks throughout the day, breakfast, lunch…it adds up fast. It’s not uncommon for folks to bring their own snacks, but they often end up squished and crumpled from laying in the bottom of a bag all day. Help folks out by gifting them a lunch bag—an easy way to carry snacks and even meals with them during the event.

Giveaway #7: Lip Balm

Lip balm is kind of a phenomenon…and a multimillion-dollar industry. As a cold-weather necessity, women are almost never without some on hand. This is a swag-bag item that’s not only going to get some love, but a long-life—folks will likely use it until it’s used up.

Giveaway #8: Baseball Hats

T-shirts are a favorite promotional item because folks tend to keep and wear them for a long time to come, but they can be tricky when you’re trying to appeal to folks in a one-size-fits-all manner. Swag bags need to be stuffed and ready to go prior to the event, so you can forget tailoring them to each attendee (can you imagine trying to check each person’s size preference at a huge event?). Enter the baseball cap. Same principal as the t-shirt, but much more universal and easier to fit all most attendees.

Giveaway #9: Web Cam Covers

Technology is fantastic but like all good things, it has its bad side, too. Privacy is a huge issue when it comes to computers, especially with the threat of hackers who can break into webcams. Conspiracy theories aside, it’s also far too easy to accidentally turn your webcam on during a team meeting—and suddenly everyone sees that you’re running it in your pajamas at home. To avoid these mishaps, many folks place tape, a sticky note, etc., over the webcam on their computer. Gifting a real web cam cover in a swag bag will delight guests (and likely make them wonder why they’ve been using a sticker all this time…).

Giveaway #10: Notebooks

Soft Touch Lined Custom JournalLike a pen, paper has been largely traded in for its digital counterpart (much to the relief of forests everywhere). That said, there are plenty of times you still wish you had a piece of paper handy, especially when at an event like a conference or tradeshow where it’s difficult to lug around a laptop. A notebook is a great way for folks to jot down notes while on-the-go or while listening to presentations. Placing one in a swag bag is like gifting the thing folks didn’t know they needed—but do.

We hope these ideas for swag bags have got your wheels turning as you prepare for your next event. Just remember, while folks love free stuff, it’s the quality/functional/thought-out items that they’ll actually use and keep—and everything in your bag (including said bag) is a representation of your brand. Make sure it’s giving off a message that’s on track with your brand, its values, and voice.


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4 Reasons March is All About Marble Journals


We know your smartphone is never out of reach – literally. But, sometimes, you’ve got to write it down. And you aren’t alone. Taking handwritten notes can help with everything from processing to curating content to long-term recollection – that’s likely why we’re seeing more and more people sporting chic, portable journals in and out of the office.

Our pick? This month it’s these Marble Journals. Here’s why…

Our Marble Journals

#1. It’s a unique design that speaks for your brand

The marble pattern on these promotional journals is as trendy as it is versatile. Ideal for any business be it more corporate, more creative or somewhere in between, these marble journals are a perfect promotional premium that speaks to your business and your on-trend approach. More importantly, as your customers tote these notebooks around, you’ll get added impressions – and added credit for delivering such a cool, useful premium.

#2. They’re perfect for anyone – and everyone

Customers, vendors, staff, prospects – these journals are great giveaways that cut through the clutter of traditional premiums. Very simply, people want, and will use, these promotional journals. And every time they do, you’ll crank up the positive brand connection and reiterate your positive, productive partnership.

#3. They’re super sleek without being too much

Whether you’re a fashion brand looking for a trendy premium to distribute to your high-end clientele, a law firm angling for a bold but useful corporate gift or a new business bursting onto the scene and looking to make a splash, these journals get the job done. With a cool marble design and stark black or white cover, these branded journals have a chic vibe – without going overboard.

The net net: these Marble Journals look cool and are cool, but can easily transition from photo shoots to board rooms to PTA meetings. That’s a tall order for promotional premiums, but it’s one these notebooks easily fill.

#4. Your employees will be all over these

As your team is out pounding the pavement, there’s nothing better than organic, brand-building moments – and these notebooks are perfect. Imagine your team jumping into their next client meeting and each whipping out a matching, and super cool journal. Not only is it a powerful statement but, no doubt, your customers and prospects will want their own – which, of course, you can deliver.

Still not sure? Watch Nick, Our Customer Experience Manager, give you an up-close look:

Get in touch to learn more about these Marble Journals and start designing your own.

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Why is Brand Consistency Important to Business?


Carving out your brand is important, essential even, but do you know what brand really means? Is it the products you create? A business logo? Business name? Many would easily answer “yes”, but a brand is much more than a visual representation.

Why is brand CONSISTENCY important to businessA Brand is the perception of your business and/or products. It’s what makes you stand apart from the competition and how customers identify your business in the crowded, ever-growing market. It’s also how you gain loyal customers, who are said to spend some 67% more than a new customer. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder business are focused on cultivating their brand in a bid to win over customer love and loyalty.

The importance of brand has led to brand-focused marketing, rather than product-first. The difference? A brand-focused marketing strategy is ever-cultivating the distinct identify that makes up your brand. Product-first marketing, on the other hand, focuses on pushing out a new product without the detail paid to the brand voice. Ergo, get the product to market in a bid to get money flowing in. While not inherently a bad goal by any means, it is somewhat short sighted. Think of it this way: “brand is strategy, marketing is tactical.” While you need those smaller tactical wins to build a business, it’s your overall strategy that will allow your business to survive the long haul.

Brand consistency, or the art of communicating to the public in a consistent voice that clearly mirrors your business’ core values and identity, is everything. Not convinced? Keep reading for 5 reasons why brand consistency is so important across all channels—digital marketing, social media, billboards, commercials, and more.

5 Reasons Why Brand Consistency is Important

1. Increase Brand Trust

Trust is key to any good relationship, including that of business and customer. Once you establish your brand identify, customers will come to expect certain messages and actions from you in your marketing—keeping brand consistency is vital to not only avoid customer confusion, but also vital to avoid losing customer trust. Always remember, customers have an emotional connection to your business, which is established through trust. Gain their trust and gain a lifelong customer.

2. Increase Awareness and Recognition of Brand

Brand consistency helps customers (both potential and existing) pick out your brand amid the crowd. This should include consistency with the use of a logo, colors used in designs, and slogans. While these tangible items are a cinch to reproduce across marketing products, it can be more difficult to get the same level of consistency in voice. It’s the character of your brand, if you will—and you will likely need to spend the most time honing it for consistency. That said, it’s well worth the effort, as customers will come to recognize these details over time.

3. Standing Out Among the Competition

Customers are bombarded by options, especially when one considers the un-ending options that are churned out from a simple browse on retail giants like Amazon. The market is more global than ever, and purchases are made with a simple digital button push. Capturing customers isn’t easy among so many choices and frankly, the market is noisy. It’s all too easy to get lost in the rumble. By focusing on your brand identify, and keeping it consistent, customers will be able to easily recognize your voice in the crowd.

4. Building Upon Existing Success

Businesses are ever-evolving, just like the rest of the world. Being able to stay nimble and dynamic when changes come, all the while keeping a consistent branding is what sets apart a business in it for the long-haul. For instance, brands like Apple and Coco-Cola have been around for decades, yet they’ve shown flexibility in adapting to ever-changing times while staying true to their core values. That said, they’ve remained true to their core values and identity, making it easier for customers to adapt and change with them.

5. Controlling the Perception of Your Brand

Staying consistent is key to controlling the public perception of your brand. Things are bound to go astray at times, whether from internal or external sources. While it may cause customer upset, sticking with the consistent, trusted messaging customers know (and love) you for will go a long way in weathering the storm.
Hopefully we’re on the same page—brand consistency is king, which the above five items have helped drive home. Now, let’s explore four strategies to increase brand consistency.

4 Strategies to Increase Brand Consistency

1. Visual Consistency for Logo and Design

Your logo and design MUST (!) be consistent. Otherwise, you’re sure to cause all sorts of confusion for customers (and lost revenue for yourself). The power of the logo shouldn’t be underestimated. Look at Apple for example. A simple, bitten apple. Considered for what it is, this simple logo doesn’t seem all that significant, but trust it is instantly recognized a good portion of the world over—even when displayed apart from an actual product (like on the back of a laptop or phone). That little logo bears tremendous weight. With it come all the expectations of the company, the brand that’s been gaining steam since the early 90’s.

That said, Apple is a behemoth. Perhaps you’re a small-town boutique looking to carve a name out on Main St, Anytown, America. You can still find plenty of opportunities to get your logo out into the public, such as having customized shopping bags created with a logo front and center. The best part of this idea? Folks almost always save and reuse a quality shopping bag, allowing your logo to get even more circulation.

2. Internal Team Alignment

The bigger your organization, the more challenging this one can be—but it’s also more reason to focus on it. Ensuring that each company division such as sales, marketing, and design are on the same page is paramount in making sure your brand identity remains clear and on point. Remember, it’s how your customers recognize you in a crowd and trust your business. You can’t afford to deploy an array of mismatched branding simply due to internal confusion or lack of connecting teams altogether.

3. Choosing Brand-Appropriate Channels to Engage Customers

So much of honing your brand identity and voice is understanding your customer. That doesn’t mean your identify changes each time a new group strikes an interest in your product/business, but as discussed above, being amenable to changes in society can help ensure longevity. Social media is a great example of something new that has taken the world by storm—old and new brands alike. Nike is a great example. Officially launched in 1971, they’re credited with being one of the great social media brands of today, (despite starting way before the Internet was even a thing). But a large cohort of Nike customers are young—and they’re on social media. So naturally, Nike has met them there. Make sure to engage on social media channels that make the most sense for your brand or industry and use data to find which relevant demographics prefer specific networks.

4. Creating Brand-Appropriate Local Partnerships

Going into your customers’ communities is a great way to really connect with them where they’re at (literally). That said, you can’t team up with just anyone simply because you share/target a common location. What’s important is that they are an alley to your brand identity. For example, a local gym could be a potentially great partner for a nutritious snack food company. Bottom-line: your customers are buying other things, but there is a theme or a way to can connect them (kid-friendly, healthy, adventurous, beauty, etc.) to your business. Understanding your audience and demographic should naturally lead you to potential brand-appropriate local partners.

We hope this piece has allowed you to start thinking about how important brand consistency is, and the ways in which you can start honing yours to stand out in the crowd. Just remember, say what you mean, and stay authentic and reliable. Customers will notice, and they’ll prize you for it.

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Must-Have Promotional Apparel: Elevate Polo Shirts


Face it: at the end of the day, no matter what promotional products or premiums you invest in, there’s one thing that sits above everything else – your team. With the right people projecting the right image and delivering the right message, you’ll get your business front-and-center, driving greater engagement, building better relationships and converting more customers from day one. That’s powerful.The Right Team Is Essential to a companies success

But you know that – you have the right people in the right roles projecting the right image of your brand 24/7. The next step? Ensure that branding hits before they even say a word – that’s where promotional apparel comes in.

Over the next few posts, we’ll unpack what we’re loving and what’s helping our customers take their branding – and their business – to the next level. First up: these must-have custom polo shirts from Elevate.

Upscale Polos for Brands that Can Handle It

Our Elevate Polo ShirtsElevate’s high quality polo shirts are, simply, the real deal. Not only are they designed to maximize your branding and brand recognition, but they’re made with the latest material for polo shirts – a breathable, moisture-wicking polyester that keeps you, your team and anyone else donning a shirt cool and dry.

And, when you are out and about in these promotional polo shirts you’ll never have to worry about the elements. These polo shirts are snag-resistant, tagless and made with built-in UV protection for safety, comfort and style.

Choose from one of five classic colors and, without a doubt, these shirts will become a favorite on the clock and off.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Polo Shirts

That said, we know there are a lot of polo shirts out there – and we know you want to choose the best for your business. When reviewing these and other company logo polo shirts, consider:

Material

It’s essential your polo shirts are made with the right material. The Elevate polo shirts, again, are made from high-quality polyester optimal for any climate and any environment. They breathe, they keep moisture and sweat at bay and they ensure wearers are cool and comfortable even when the temperature rises.

Branding

A big piece of any promotional polo shirts is the branding – specifically, whether you’ll embroider or screen print your logo and messaging. When you opt for embroidering this polo shirt, the design will last as long as the shirt does – your logo is stitched in and ready for anything.

Wearability

Material, quality, fit and style – they all play into the wearability of a polo shirt. The goal? Create a shirt that’s one part promotional and one part go-to polo. You want your customers and employees to don your branded apparel, and that requires an eye on the overall look and feel of the end product.

For example, if you’ve got too much branding, your polo might not make it out of the closet beyond the next trade show or two. Too little branding? You’re losing out on a major opportunity to get your business out there. Same with the fit and design. A boxy or flimsy polo might have the right branding, but it’s never making the rounds unless it’s mandatory.

Elevate definitely eliminates that challenge. These polo shirts have an on-trend asymmetrical design, which looks good on everyone and draws attention to your logo. That ensures more people see your name and your branding instantly, cutting through the clutter of busy, noisy events and ensuring you get noticed – but it’s not so over-the-top that shirts feel business-only.

Finding the Perfect Polo Occasion

Granted, these shirts aren’t just for personal or promotional wear. More and more, polos are becoming central to casual and comfort wear – and that’s becoming increasingly common in the workplace. We’ve seen startups walking event floors, mixing, mingling and pitching, with their branding incredibly organic – and incredibly front-and-center.

Casual Fridays at the OfficeWe’ve also seen these shirts become uniforms – day-to-day apparel for physical therapy and wellness centers where staffers need comfort and want to look professional. Same with car dealerships – many have shifted to a more casual, almost disarming look that gives off a truly personal vibe, while still ensuring their logo is highly visible all day long. And, of course, there’s the “Casual Friday” use – more and more businesses ditching jackets, ties and heels on Fridays in favor of jeans and polos.

Why not make their favorite Friday shirts your promotional polo shirts?

Regardless of your brand, your branding and your desired use, Elevate’s polo shirts are one of our very favorite pieces. These shirts no doubt check all the boxes, making them ideal for any business, any event or, simply, any day in the office. Get in touch to learn more, request a sample and get your polo shirts in production now.

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